Have you ever heard of castor oil – the vegetable oil, which had been used many years ago to ease tummy aches and constipation?

Now, castor oil has evolved into something that functions much more than that. Because of its unique chemical properties, it has been known widely for its uses in food, in medicine and more significantly, in many industrial applications.

Castor Oil: Nature and Characteristics

Castor oil is nonvolatile fatty oil extracted from the seeds of the castor bean plant, scientifically named Ricinus communis. It has a clear, colorless to amber liquid appearance and a faint odor. Try tasting it and you will find that it has a bland, slightly acrid taste that can be nauseating afterwards.

Natural castor oil has the highest density compared to other oils. But what really sets it apart from other oils is its high ricinoleic acid content. This quality allows this oil to be combined with alcohol in any amount or concentration. It also produces castor oil derivatives that are popular because they are biodegradable, eco-friendly and renewable sources that can be used for various industries.

World’s Production of Castor Oil

The castor oil plant is a native of Africa and India, where it is known for its ancient Sanskrit names such as Eranda. India, together with Brazil, is considered the primary producer of castor beans and oil in the world, based on data from Encyclopedia Britannica. Some parts of Asia, Africa, and West Indies make up for the smaller percentage of the world’s castor bean crops. Meanwhile, the United States is the main industrial consumer of these products.

Uses of Castor Oil

Aside from being used as a laxative, castor oil has long been used as a lubricant.

Other uses of castor oil and its derivatives are in:

  • Manufacturing industrial goods like plastics, synthetic resins, fibers, paints, hydraulic fluids and various chemicals
  • Making cosmetic items like soaps, hair oils, and fungistatic compounds
  • Enhancing food quality (Castor oil is used in additives and flavorings)
  • Treating skin disorders or skin problems

These are just a few of castor oil’s numerous uses. With all the practical benefits of castor oil, it truly is a valuable oil that we can all take advantage of, isn’t it?

Want more information on castor oil? Check out the next article -> Castor Oil Lymph Treatment

Thank you for reading What Is Castor Oil?.

2 Responses to “What Is Castor Oil?”

  1. Whitney says:

    I recently have discovered castor oil and it really works. I was curious how it works so I started researching it. I’m yet to find any medical articles stating how it works. I don’t understand why it can work so well and there not be massive amounts of research on it. In my own research, basicaly consisting of wikipedia, I found that 95% of castor contains Ricinoleic acid. B/c of castor oils polarity it is absorbed deep into the body. The Ricinoliec acid is then converted to a zinc sulfate. Zinc is used as the marker in identifying cells for destruction by the white blood cells after they have lived to their life expectancy. If there is not enough zinc in the body to mark the “expired/bad” cells then they replicate passing on their “expired/bad” dna to their progeny creating the aging process and weaker cells. Zinc is needed for the body in very small amounts, not b/c we hardly use it but b/c one or few atoms are needed in creating compounds but without the “one” zinc atom…these compounds are not created, therefore it is necessary. Zinc is stored in the liver, intestines and eyes. Eyes storing the most. Zinc is also found in the brain, bones, muscles and kidneys. So can you see the cascading affect of a zinc defficiency on your body just in the terms of identifying bad cells? This will cause everything to not work like it is suppose to. Your zinc expenditure must not exceed your zinc input. I’m thinking that castor oil may help in transporting zinc to these bad cells. From what I also read, zinc found in supplements is useless and although cereals and seeds contain zinc…most contain a chelator causing it to not be absorbed. So unless you are eating red meat you most likely don’t have enough zinc to keep your body functioning properly. Just a thought, I’m curious to know if anyone else has any theories.

  2. Moleta says:

    Castor Oil.

    I remember back when I was nine years old (30 years ago), my Grandmother – A Midwife always used Castor Oil. She applied the Castor oil all over the newborn’s skin and clean their mouth with the oil after birth. She will ask the mother to continue this process, for the next seven days after the infant’s umbilical cord detaches completely.

    My grandmother died when she was 98 years old, most of the people who attended her funeral beside our family, were all the babies she welcomed at birth. The most amazing fact we all agreed including my self was that, all of us were healthy babies! no reports of any disease of infections during our first years considering an era when modern medicine was out of our reach.

    If any of us will get constipated she will ask our parents to give us Castor oil for this and many other health issues.

    I trust more the old remedies than the modern drugs that promised to cure your symptoms and yet they might develop new complications in return.

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